|About the Book|
For all the talk of health-care reform, few people are willing to expose the facts. Here is a doctors hard look at how things went wrong in the first place, at how our system landed in intensive care. Instead of yet another policymakers proposalMoreFor all the talk of health-care reform, few people are willing to expose the facts. Here is a doctors hard look at how things went wrong in the first place, at how our system landed in intensive care. Instead of yet another policymakers proposal for change, Bitter Medicine is an explosive examination of our current crisis. This book warns that a cure can come only after we understand the real history and illness of the patient, in this case our health-care system. With remarkable depth and breadth of research, bold journalistic insight, and extensive firsthand experience working with patients, insurance companies, the federal Medicare program, and many other medical players, Dr. Jeanne Kassler charts in these pages the rise of our unique system - one in which corporate agendas increasingly determine the care we get. Dr. Kassler explains, for example, how the business of kidney dialysis has flourished, with 30-percent profit margins underwritten by taxpayer revenue. Compensation for one executive of that industry topped $26 million for a three-year period, yet we have chosen not to pay $160 for a mammogram that might have saved a forty-fife-year-old womans life. Dr Kassler describes how high technology and the profit motive have given us increasingly sophisticated care for a steadily shrinking segment of society. How we have turned our backs on providing basic health care fairly and have neglected education, housing, and other factors that in the long run may make a bigger difference to our collective health. Bitter Medicine is an incisive, insiders report on the condition of American health care. Its facts, figures, and often galling real-life examples will inform and inflame, andspur more rational debate in Washington and in town halls, boardrooms, and backyards across this country. Here, finally, is a book that makes us ask what we want from medicine - and what tradeoffs we may be forced to make.